Streams

Albany Considers Synthetic Marijuana Bill

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nathan Lents, associate professor of molecular biology and deputy chair at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, explains the difference between marijuana and synthetic cannabis. State legislators are considering a bill to criminalize the synthetic drug.

Guests:

Nathan Lents

Comments [17]

Nathan H. Lents

Sorry - I meant you will hear no laughter from Brian. The laughter heard is from the caller, not from Brian.

Apr. 23 2012 05:44 PM
Nathan H. Lents from NYC

I just want to correct two comments below. Brian did not laugh, nor did I, when he told the caller that one shouldn't drive while high on marijuana. Please listen to the interview again and you will hear no laughter as Brian rightly calls out this individual regarding driving while under the influence of marijuana.

Apr. 23 2012 05:41 PM
Peter Gordon from NYC

WHAT DO STUDIES SHOW?
The link left by Hazel
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722956/
discusses the results of experimental tests of compensation when subjects are given marijuana in the lab and then asked to do a driving test (obviously off road). Studies show that subjects are very aware of the effects and compensate using strategies (all bets are off if combined with alcohol, which is worse than either alone)

The problem with this argument is that people who really drive on real roads (with kids unexpectedly running into the streets) are not the same as those who are signed up for a psych experiment and on a closed course negotiating street cones. People who choose to drive while high are dope heads who are partying, and are not worrying about the effects of being high in the same way that experimental subjects would. You just cannot generalize from the two conditions (BTW I am a professor in Psychology, so such weaknesses in generalization are classic misinterpretations of research to real life)

Apr. 23 2012 11:12 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Gas stations shouldn't sell anything that impairs ones ability to drive.

Apr. 23 2012 11:10 AM
Jon Pope from Ridge, NY

dboy, if you have no health insurance, get drunk, jaywalk and get hit by a bus, do I have to pay for your emergency room visit? Yes, yes I do....

Apr. 23 2012 11:08 AM
BJK from Queens

Anyone smoking/ingesting anything which is essentially unknown, untested and unregulated is taking profound risks with their health.
The prof on this program asserted that relatively speaking, using a sample of natural marijuana is a safer undertaking than using 'synthetic' marijuana, because the constituents of marijuana (if not necessarily all psychoactive effects) are relatively well-known. This is basically true.
No one knows exactly what chemical compounds are present in these bags.
The claim is that they are cannabinoids. It is almost a certainty that these agents are made by people with miminal synthetic chemistry skills, with primitive purification and quality control. It is a guarantee that a full analysis of all components in this 'marijuana' will reveal many compounds that are known toxic agents, and many unknown (unwanted) byproducts of sloppy synthesis and purification.

Apr. 23 2012 11:06 AM
Jon Pope from Ridge, NY

Gee, they don't have synthetic alcohol. I wounder why that is?.....

Apr. 23 2012 11:01 AM
Peter Gordon from NYC

The caller who is "comfortable" with driving with someone who is high obviously has never thought about the consequences of perhaps killing a young child on the road. Yes, this is NOT funny! Brian, you should not be laughing at this.

Apr. 23 2012 11:00 AM
Bill from New Rochelle

Just Saturday, while paying for gasoline, I saw a huge, whole rack on the counter of "male enhansers" on the counter.

How crazy are these products?
Are synthetic Cannabinoids also sold this way?
Wouldn't it be crazy to sell this stuff in a gas station?

Apr. 23 2012 10:58 AM

Actually, studies show that people driving after smoking marijuana aren't really all that dangerous - certainly not as compared to drunk drivers. They over-compensate.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722956/

Apr. 23 2012 10:58 AM

Could we PLEASE just legalize grass!!!

So STUPID!!

Prohibition has NEVER worked!

Apr. 23 2012 10:58 AM
Michelle from Brooklyn

A close friend of mine who is in the military started smoking it increasingly regularly this past year as a substitute for real marijuana since it couldn't be tested for. It got to a point where he could hardly function at all and had to enter an NA program. It is by far much worse, more addictive and more destructive than the natural stuff.

Apr. 23 2012 10:58 AM

"Gee...giggle, giggle I drive while I'm high..."

Really?!?!

THIS IS NOT FUNNY, BRIAN!!!

Apr. 23 2012 10:56 AM

Do we have to pay the emergency room bills for the idiots that are stupid enough to smoke anything someone tells them to???

Apr. 23 2012 10:54 AM
Jeremy Koppel, MD

Point of information-

The substance under consideration is not "synthetic marijuana." As a physician and cannabinoid researcher, the term "synthetic marijuana" refers to pure delta-9-THC which is made (synthetic) in a laboratory rather than grown, and is available by prescription as dronabinol (Marinol)or in non-bioavailable formulations from chemical companies (Sigma). The substances being discussed may be treated with synthetic marijuana, but are not synthetic marijuana itself.

Apr. 23 2012 10:52 AM

The solution, of course, is to legalize marijuana:

1. Take the wind out of the sails of those seeking an end-run around the law;

2. Manage use much as alcohol and tobacco are;

3. Acknowledge that the health risks of marijuana are no greater and probably less than alcohol or tobacco.

Apr. 23 2012 10:52 AM
nb

yes i've tried it. it has a more brain numbing effect than regular pot, it feels and tastes synthetic, after trying it i tried to look up what was in it and where it was made, there is no trace of origin anywhere.
didn't like it to be honest, stick to the real stuff.

Apr. 23 2012 10:50 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.